[[ Read eBook ]] The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern PapersAuthor Henry James – Kairafanan.co

The Apparition Had Reached The Landing Half Way Up And Was Therefore On The Spot Nearest The Window, Where, At The Sight Of Me, It Stopped Short Oscar Wilde Called James S Chilling The Turn Of The Screw A Most Wonderful, Lurid Poisonous Little Tale It Tells Of A Young Governess Sent To A Country House To Take Charge Of Two Orphans, Miles And Flora Unsettled By A Sense Of Intense Evil Within The House, She Soon Becomes Obsessed With The Belief That Malevolent Forces Are Stalking The Children In Her Care Obsession Of A Worldly Variety Lies At The Heart Of The Aspern Papers, The Tale Of A Literary Historian Determined To Get His Hands On Some Letters Written By A Great Poet And Prepared To Use Trickery And Deception To Achieve His Aims Both Works Show James S Mastery Of The Short Story And His Genius For Creating Haunting Atmosphere And Unbearable TensionAnthony Curtis S Wide Ranging Introduction Traces The Development Of The Two Stories From Initial Inspiration To Finished Work And Examines Their Critical Reception

10 thoughts on “The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers

  1. says:

    A Turn of the Screw is fabulous I wish all his works, especially his later ones, were as ecstatically readable.

  2. says:

    Well, you certainly have to concentrate on the prose in this one be prepared to pay attention.A classic story with a classic question Did all this really happen as the governess tells it Were the children really possessed by the malevolent spirits of their dead servants Was the governess really a half crazy repressed old maid victim of Victorian society who in turn victimized her young charges I prefer the former, but either one is horrifying in its own way.Although a certain type of woman, from a certain strata of British Victorian society, may have been heavily oppressed by the morals and social expectations of the era, this is largely a myth The very era itself is named for a woman The same society also produced women like Christina Rossetti, May Morris, Evelyn de Morgan, Marie Correlli, Elizabeth Gaskell, Beatrix Potter, Ada Lovelace and many others which clearly could not have happened if conditions were as anti woman as are popularly attributed I have seen three different film adaptations of this book The first is titled The Innocents and the acting is old school melodrama, but the look of the black white film is perfect very gothic Bly House and the entire estate have that lovely, eerie appearance The last one was titled The Turn of the Screw , and with an interesting twist, was set in the 1960 s The story remained true to the novel, in spite of the mod costuming The cinematography was not as atmospheric as the black white version, much sunlit, but still visually appealing.I know that some readers struggle with the prose of Henry James The story is worth adapting your reading style it is just a novella This book will not appeal to fans of gore and bloodshed.

  3. says:

    I was planning on buying The Turn which was 3euros but i found this edition with two stories for the same price didn t expect to care for the second story but i ended up enjoying both of them .

  4. says:

    The Turn of the Screw 1898 Wasn t it just a story book over which I had fallen a doze and a dream James, Ed 2004 33 This is a horror novella penned by James in 1898 at the invitation of Robert J Collier for his magazine First published as a series, it tells of a hired governess who comes to Bly, a country estate in Essex, to supervise two children, Miles and Flora The children are orphans under the responsibility of their uncle who, in turn, does not have much time to spend with them and resides in London The young governess willingly assumes her responsibilities, being totally delighted to be in charge of two beautiful, lovely and well behaved children in such grand estate However, Bly soon opens its horrors to the governess and she becomes aware that there are at least two ghosts in the house that haunt the children The Turn of the Screw is now infamous for its multiple story interpretations and all kinds of meanings that can be read into the text Nevertheless, whether one reads the story as a straightforward ghost tale or as a complex psychological study of one nanny losing her mind, it is still a scary and intriguing read, which leaves much to think about and discuss upon finishing The Turn of the Screw is different from others novels of James in that there is an implication of danger of a horrid kind The story is told through a first person narrative, and our narrator is the youngest of several daughters of a poor country parson Ed 2004 26 We follow her thoughts and encounters as she becomes a governess to two children at Bly She is not alone in the house as housekeeper Mrs Grose accompanies her, and very soon, our heroine is convinced that the house is haunted by the ghosts of a previous governess Miss Jessel and a valet Peter Quint More than haunted, the narrator is convinced that the two ghosts are after the children Miles and Flora There are two ways to read The Turn of the Screw It can be read as a morbid tale of creepiness whereby ghosts haunt the country estate and take strange possession of the children, or it can be read as a story of our heroine s emotional or mental breakdown whereby she either imagines or hallucinates spiritual elements The novella is clever enough to give each theory enough evidence As soon as readers may think they deal with ghosts, there is immediately something in the narrative which somewhat contradicts that, perhaps pointing to active imagination or mistaken perception This ambiguity is what makes the story so fascinating, with only subtle hints left behind as to the real danger.If the narrator is to be believed how else would she know detailed physical descriptions of previous dead servants , the story is rather scary, and there are chilling passages where she details her ghostly encounters The beauty and innocence of the children are contrasted with the dark and disturbing behaviour of the ghosts visiting them The children s own behaviour becomes strange, and they are as though under the spell of monstrous and evil intentions of the two ghosts who corrupt But, even here there is this lack of clarity Who really desires to corrupt The ghosts the children the governess the children or maybe even the children try to corrupt the governess The novella can really be read as evil coming from different directions.There are many clues in the story that we are dealing with an unreliable narrator, who is impressionable and easily excitable We have to take the narrator s word at face value, but her account is highly emotive, and she herself admits to her confusion Thus, there is also a theory that the ghostly encounters in the story are part of the governess s active imagination or that she hallucinates them The governess s mental breakdown as a theory was proposed as early as 1919 Ed 2004 192 , and there are passages in the novella such as I m rather easily carried away Ed 2004 31 and she was untried, nervous , and that before her were serious duties and little company really great loneliness Ed 2004 28 Sometimes the narrator doubts herself, even that she was in life Clearly, that could be some proof of her losing her grip on reality.The governess of Miles and Flora also becomes completely infatuated with them She tells us how Flora was the most beautiful child I had ever seen and the children are described as being remarkable , incredibly beautiful and radiant Ed 2004 30, 37 The governess senses in them a positive fragrance of purity and is dazed by their loveliness Ed 2004 30, 37, 44 Even though the housekeeper is also enchanted by the duo, and we have little reason to doubt the narrator s description of children, her expressions regarding the children are often emotional and it is telling that neither Miles s school headmaster nor his uncle both males want the boy near them, also suggesting that, probably, the governess s and Mrs Grose s good impression of children may be exaggerated Miles was expelled from his school and spent a lot of time with his uncle s valet Quint, who was not a gentleman It is also telling and slightly ironic that, although both Mrs Grose and the governess narrator refuse to believe the hard fact that Miles was expelled from school, they do succumb to a paranormal belief that there are spirits in the house.The governess is so obsessed with, and enraptured by, the children and everything they do that she may have imbued them with some divine characteristics, abilities and secrets She also may want to be part of their secrets and pact Thus, she may see ghosts because of her desire to be part of the mysterious games the children apparently play, rather than other way around The governess seems to rejoice in the fact that there is this unusual connection shared between her, and Flora and Miles Thus, she tells us the element of the unnamed and untouched became, between us, greater than any other Ed 2004 78 She also tells us that the children are aware of the ghosts, but if we read the book closely, we discover that there is little evidence to support that apart from the narrator s perceptions The narrative is so persuasive that we begin to believe this theory, even in spite of the fact that the narrator admits herself later that there is little proof that Miles and Flora can see ghosts, and that it would distress her if she ever loses her power to see ghosts Ed 2004 80 In the same vein, the governess s desire to feel useful and needed, as well as become a protector of children may have meant the imagining of a situation whereby she has to protect the children against evil ghosts She later says we had been, collectively, subject to an intrusion , cut off together and united in danger Ed 2004 42 This will provide the necessary drama and diversion in her monotone life on the estate, some situation where she may feel a sudden vibration of duty and courage Ed 2004 45.Even the ghosts of Miss Jessel and Peter Quint can be seen as the heroine s inverted mind projections of herself tragic and the master of the house deep The affair between Quint and Miss Jessel was doomed, and our narrator may hint in this way on her own doomed and unstarted affair with the master of the house If there is a talk of the ghosts of Miss Jessel and Quint trying to destroy the children, the narrator may also subconsciously think that their uncle would also harm them by being absent, and she could destroy them with her smothering love, and badly educated and uncultured ways Her own loss of what is real may be due to her sexual repression When the handsome master of the house held her hand after her interview, she felt already rewarded Ed 2004 29 , and it is telling that the ghosts she meets give her bold, hard stare s The most revealing passage in support of this theory is that when the governess is walking alone, she has the desire that her employer meets her on her way and sees how well she is doing The heroine refers to the gentleman when she says it would be as charming as a charming story suddenly to meet some one Some one would appear there at the turn of a path and would stand before me and smile and approve Ed 2004 39.The later account in the novella of the governess s thoughts and actions also fits accurately with the theory of her slowly losing her sense of reality, rather there being a straightforward ghost story If before the heroine tells us how Bly was like a fairy tale place Ed 2004 38 and enjoys the place almost like a proprietor, later in the story she may be realising that Bly will never be hers, the master of the estate will never return her feelings, and the children will also never be hers The governess also feels her inadequacy to cater for such intelligent children She feels she has nothing to teach Miles, saying to us that Miles was too clever for a bad governess, for a parson s daughter, to spoil Ed 2004 65 When her dear Miles then tells her that he wants to get away to new field , to be with his own lot and to see life Ed 2004 85 , the governess may have become disturbed and hurt by that statement She previously thought Miles was happy with her at Bly since he never mentioned his old school Similarly, Flora may have been sensing something strange in her governess and attempted to run away probably, even afraid of her Even other servants started to perceive the governess differently, while the governess starts to feel that any future will hurt her darlings Ed 2004 110, 84.What can be the result of such feeling of alienation and hurt on the governess s part Then comes the climax of the story The secrets here are out and the game is up Following the governess s narration, Flora turns ugly , apparently when she is no longer her secretive Flora who sees ghosts, and moves away Ed 2004 103 Our heroine s only hope becomes Miles, whom she immediately whimsically compares to her husband on their wedding day Ed 2004 113 The separation between her and the boy becomes the reality, and, perhaps, to maintain her grip on the house and on Miles, the nanny resorts to the only action she thinks available to her unimaginable horror There is a line in the book to that effect where the narrator refers to a perverse horror of what I was doing , and to an act of violence Ed 2004 115 All this is related in a rather obscure form with another ghostly encounter, and the whole situation may be read in other ways Henry James indirectly implies and leaves the readers to draw their own conclusions.Because of the language used, long and complex sentences, and the indeterminate conclusion, The Turn of the Screw is not as instantly satisfying as may be desired, and its reading may be rather daunting However, those who delight in reading between the lines will find the novella engrossing and atmospheric It could challenge with its ambiguity, and Henry James must be given credit for the subtle way he deals with evil and true horror in his book By not pinpointing or describing the meaning of horror, he makes the story take an even darker turn, and the line between the mind and the body, between the inside and the outside, between the spiritual and the earthy, and between the imagined and real, becomes blurred.

  5. says:

    The Turn of the Screw is a haunting and creepy novella published in 1898 about a female caretaker of two orphaned children in the country home of the children s uncle The caretaker believes that the house and grounds are haunted Other people employed at the residence are not sharing the same experiences as the nanny and so it could be that there really is something evil hovering around the country estate or the entire scenario is playing out only in the mind of the nanny It is up to the reader to the decide the truth Is the nanny sane Is this a true haunting The unreliable narrator of the story makes it a difficult decision Is the ending of this tragic story supernaturally solved or is it criminal

  6. says:

    Please note, four stars does not mean I approve of dialogue like this So she went to To She hung fire To the gentleman s residence The gentleman s residence Yes, you know, in case of Oh, yes, well She hung fire He wasn t exactly a gentleman Wasn t a gentleman No, and it caused problems later Later If only it had been sooner Sooner They hung fire Everything depended on when she went When she went Why Because of Yes He hung fire Or Or Well you could say that it prevented Oh, of course It prevented She hung fire.He hung fire.They hung Fire And then of course the child He gasped The child What of it It was thought that Who thought it It It thought it What It Why, oh one of them gasped, no one was sure which one Not actual Henry James dialogue, except for the hung fire bits.

  7. says:

    For the second time, I have had the misfortune of choosing to reading Henry James alongside another difficult author The first time it was Proust this time, Joyce So, instead of getting the desired relief from literary headache, I get an extension of it But, of course, the fault is mine, not Henry s When reading Henry James s work, I am reminded of a remark Stephen King made about Stanley Kubrick that he thinks too much and feels too little One gets the impression that, as Henry wrote, he did not vicariously experience the feelings and perspectives of his characters instead he manipulates them at a far distance in the service of his aesthetic goal This makes reading his work a peculiarly cerebral experience Instead of identifying with James s protagonists, the reader gazes upon them from far away like watching pedestrians from a tall building Maddening, frustrating, and exasperating as he writing style is, I am always impressed by the end of it James has mastered the art of using the structure of language to mirror the structure of his plots Instead of merely relaying information, James s sentences show the reader what is going on in their very composition As the protagonist tries and fails to guess at a mystery, the sentences try and fail to reach their objects like a snake coiling around itself Annoying as this sometimes is to read, I am so amazed by the end that I can give James nothing but kudos The Turn of the Screw is famous for its use of ambiguity Is the governess crazy Or are there really ghosts Or do the ghosts make her crazy Or does her craziness somehow reify the ghosts I ve heard it argued, and with good reason, that this ambiguity is what makes the story so endlessly intriguing the implication being that those who try to definitely answer the story s riddle are doing it a disservice But what s the point of a riddle you don t try to answer In fact, if you don t try to answer it, is it even a riddle So, in the spirit of literary puzzles, here s my attempt I am for the mad governess theory One obstacle to this is that she was able to describe people she never met with enough precision that the housekeeper immediately recognized them However, it s reasonable to suppose that she might have overheard or otherwise been told something about the two deceased former inhabitants What s , her descriptions of the ghosts contain some odd features she describes Quinn as wearing borrowed clothes, and knows that he isn t a gentleman and she describes Miss Jessel as infamous Now, how could you tell any of those things merely by looking at someone Her descriptions contain information than could be plausibly gathered through a glance, which is why I think she was parroting something she d been told Another obvious clue is that nobody else can see these ghosts But what s even compelling is how creepily fond the governess is of the children Her feelings towards them are unhealthy in the extreme She idolizes them, and then comes to distrust and suspect them in their every action Her ghosts could then be a kind of manifestation of her extraordinary possessiveness She fears so keenly that somebody or something would take her away from these children she so adores that her mind produces villains who aim to do just that Her feelings are similar to that of a hyper jealous lover who sees signs of infidelity lurking in every shadow and hiding in every word At this point, one is forced to think about how much the narrator may have omitted from her tale For all we know, she may have mistreated even abused the children This would explain why Flora comes to hate her so passionately And it may also explain Miles s death I will admit, however, that Miles s death is particularly hard to account for within the governess is mad theory Did she poison him Smother him in her arms It seems a bit far fetched, but certainly still possible The Aspern Papers was less perplexing and readable The prose, less gnarled the characters, life like I suspect this is because it was written earlier in James s career, when his own distinct style was yet imperfectly developed That being said, it was certainly masterfully done The main character, even though he is something of a scoundrel, is endearing because of his dorkiness And the description of the pent up women lingering in their large Venetian house is nearly Dickensian So now, after finishing these two little gems, I am left wanting to read of good ol Henry He may indeed think too much and feel too little, but that s only a flaw when you re not as smart as he was.

  8. says:

    James is always about thwarted desire and or sexual repression,like the man s own life In Screw the sublimated sexuality of the governess turns her into a mental case she destroys 2 children with her fantasies of corruption Are the kiddies innocent I dont think so, but they are sweet The deceiving framework is a ghost story This fools Dum Reader.In Aspern a naive repressed editor tries to coaxa crusty dowager and her cock hungry niece to part with some historic papers, but the ladies have a sexual price In Jamesdepths of feeling can only be whispered He s a romantic, but secretions make him blush I love the game play in James It s just like real life.

  9. says:

    Venezia anche un sogno, di quelli che puoi comperare Inizio a leggere Il carteggio Aspern per due motivi da un po di tempo ho una gran voglia di leggere qualcosa di Henry James e questo gi strano, perch ho letto solamente Ritratto di signora per cui non posso definirmi n esperta n appassionata di quest autore ma, nonostante ci , desidero fortemente tornare a respirare qualcosa di suo, di ottocentesco ma nordamericano e perch iniziando a leggere l autobiografia di Stefan Zweig Il mondo di ieri ho sentito fortemente il richiamo al decadentismo veneziano, a quel clima finis austriae che, sia pur politicamente lontano dalla citt della Serenissima, e ancora storicamente a venire, aveva gi iniziato ad avvolgerla e a isolarla come una perla nella sua ostrica.La storia semplice e lineare un giovane e appassionato critico del famoso e defunto poeta Jeffrey Aspern riesce con l inganno a farsi concedere alcune stanze in affitto dalle signorine Bordereau, l ormai vecchissima Juliana musa ispiratrice del poeta in giovent e la nipote Miss Tina.Lo scopo del critico, che anche il narratore del romanzo, quello di entrare in possesso di alcune lettere da qui il carteggio del titolo che Aspern scrisse alla giovanissima Juliana ai tempi del loro idillio.Meno lineari, invece, sono i risvolti psicologici dei tre personaggi, i loro comportamenti spesso imprevedibili il dedalo di stanze del vecchio palazzo grigio e rosa in cui si svolge tutta la storia, misterioso e impenetrabile come le inestricabili calli della laguna.Restano, a completare il quadro, lo sciabordio delle acque, il lento passare di una gondola nella notte, voci e mormorii nella nebbia, gli improvvisi squarci di luce e la splendida scrittura, raffinata e decadente, di Henry James.Pi che claustrofobico, come viene definito questo romanzo in molti commenti, lo definirei immobile anche se la sua un immobilit solo apparente, perch all interno di queste pagine si muove un epoca intera un epoca che ormai, come Venezia, poggia sull acqua e della quale possibile cogliere solo il riflesso Sipario Anzi, no.L avevo letto nel commento di Procyon Lotor, che mancava un capitolo o forse pi , ma me n ero dimenticata.Ieri, leggendo Giro di Vite , questa storia mi tornata in mente e sono andata a cercare una versione online per scoprire innanzitutto se era vero.Era vero, alla versione pubblicata dalla I Grandi della Narrativa di Repubblica nella traduzione di Nadia Fusini mica pizza e fichi manca non un capitolo, ma almeno tre.Ecco, mi sento pi o meno come gli spettatori di quel cineforum di Bologna che qualche mese fa hanno assistito alla proiezione di Tree of life, l ultimo capolavoro di Terrence Malick, a rulli invertiti senza rendersi conto di niente.http corrieredibologna.corriere.it Ora, posso dire in mia discolpa In attesa di conoscere nomi e cognomi di quelli che gli hanno dato quattro o cinque stelle senza accorgersi che manca il capitolo finale di PL si abbattuto sul mio orgoglio di lettrice come una mannaia che Il carteggio Aspern funzionava benissimo anche cos la parte mancante non aggiunge alcuna rivelazione clamorosa alla storia, se non fosse, per , che la priva completamente di quell ironia di cui parlavamo a tre nei miei feedback ironia che io non ero riuscita a cogliere e che invece si manifesta in tutto il suo fulgore nei capitoli cesoiati da questa edizione disgraziata.Mi chiedo, ma com possibile James aveva finito l inchiostro e ne ha pubblicata prima una versione ridotta e poi dopo averlo acquistato ne ha pubblicata un altra, la Fusini era in vena di scherzetti, oppure quelli della Repubblica si sono completamente rinc iti Nel frattempo, ironia per ironia, quella di James e quella della sorte, aggiungo la quinta stella.

  10. says:

    The Turn of the Screw was quite good, but difficult to read due to the gothic language The subtle mystery and non so subtle supernatural elements were gripping, but the ending left me, at least, still wondering about a few unresolved things.I had no idea what to expect from The Aspern Papers, but I found it easier to follow than The Turn of the Screw and even enjoyed its lovely Venetian setting and the narrator s attempt to outwit the old lady who possessed the papers in question I m not sure if I liked the ending or not, but it was what the narrator deserved, I guess.